A Trucker’s Guide to Eating on the Road: Healthy Trucker Meal Ideas

After driving OTR for a while, many drivers start to get tired of the fast food meals that plague every truck stop. Not only do they get redundant, but the fat, calories, and cholesterol starts to wear on you.

But even if you try healthy eating on the road, sometimes it can get boring having the same thing time after time. I mean, there are only so many times a person can eat a turkey sandwich! It can also be difficult to find foods that will keep for a while without refrigeration or create meals with minimal equipment. After all, there’s only so much space on a truck for cooking appliances.

Have Ideas?  Share Them with Us!

We’ve compiled a short list of some meal ideas to get you started. These are all pretty basic, but we’ll be adding to this list over time. So, if you have any suggestions or ideas that YOU like for eating on the road, please share them in the comments below or connect via social media.

Breakfast Ideas:

  • Oatmeal with strawberries

    Image via Kimberly Kling, Flickr

    Fruit. The easiest on-the-go breakfast there is! Apples, bananas, and oranges are all good options.
  • Yogurt. Greek yogurt is my favorite, and has the added bonus of LOTS of protein. Watch the sugar content though — the flavored ones often have 15-20 grams of sugar. Add fresh fruit or granola to plain Greek yogurt for an added kick.
  • Whole wheat English muffin topped with peanut butter and banana slices.
  • Smoothies. If you have a travel blender, of course. Try this one: one frozen banana, two tablespoons of peanut butter, one cup milk, and some ice. Blend ’til smooth!
  • Cereal. Healthy cereal, that is. Think cereals high in fiber — bran flakes, Cheerios, etc. No Lucky Charms!
  • Protein bars. Again, watch the sugar content. They sneak a lot in to an otherwise healthy meal sometimes.
  • Egg and cheese sandwich. This is a healthy, homemade take on a fatty McDonald’s classic. Take a whole wheat English muffin, and top with scrambled egg, cheese, and a lean meat if you so choose. “How do I scramble an egg in a truck?” you may be asking. If you have a microwave, it’s easy. I just crack an egg into a mug, mix it up, and microwave for 45-60 seconds.
  • Egg burrito. Similar to the above recipe, but with boiled eggs instead. Take a whole wheat tortilla and top with sliced hard-boiled egg, Canadian bacon/lean ham/turkey, and salsa (if desired). Roll up like a burrito and there ya go – healthy breakfast!
  • Apple sandwich. Cut and core an apple and top with peanut butter and granola.
  • Hard boiled egg. The protein in eggs makes them a great morning energy boost.
  • Cottage cheese. With fruit or by itself. Both are high in protein, fruit just adds some fiber as well!

Lunch Ideas:

  • PortableSaladHealthy salads. Spinach and leafy greens are the best to use in salads. Add veggies or fruits for some additional flavor. Try spinach salad with cranberries, almonds, a sprinkle of feta cheese and a raspberry vinaigrette dressing. Get creative!
  • Sandwiches. Make on whole wheat bread for the healthiest options. Watch sodium levels on deli meat and use healthier spreads like pesto rather than mayo, if possible. You could also switch it up by making a sandwich on a whole wheat tortilla instead. Voila, now you have a wrap.
  • Veggie/turkey burgers. If you can buy these frozen and have a microwave with you (or access to one) burgers are a healthy lunch option. You could also cook patties in a lunchbox cooker. Use whole wheat buns or even a lettuce leaf if you want to be especially healthy.
  • Canned soups. Again, if you have access to a microwave, slow cooker, or lunchbox cooker you can heat soups up relatively quick. Watch these though, they can often be sneaky with the serving size and sodium levels.
  • Leftovers from last night’s dinner (see below).

Dinner Ideas:

Our best recommendation for making delicious and healthy dinners on the road is to invest in a nice slow cooker. You can find both 12 volt as well as traditional AC power slow cookers, so choose whichever is most convenient for your living arrangement. Here are some of our favorite dinner ideas…

  • Pot roast. Pretty straight forward — add potatoes and carrots and you’ll have leftovers for a few meals after.
  • Chili. Another straightforward slow cooker recipe. You can get creative with chili, too — add whatever and however much of what you like and let cook while you drive. There are tons of variations on slow cooker chili recipes out there.
  • Beef stew.
  • Pulled Pork/Chicken BBQ.
  • Lasagna. This easy lasagna recipe is made in a crock pot — perfect for the on-the-go truck driver!
  • Baked Potatoes. These twice baked potatoes are easy to cook while you’re driving. Stop for the night, bake the 2nd portion, and you have a warm meal in no time.
  • Sun Dried Tomato Mac and Cheese. This pasta recipe only takes 2 hours in the slow cooker and is a tasty twist on traditional mac and cheese!

Snacks

  • Fruit/veggies
  • Low fat/low calorie popcorn
  • Unsalted almonds
  • Beef jerky (high in sodium, but better than potato chips because at least you get some protein!)
  • Protein/fiber bars
  • Hard boiled eggs

These are just some ideas to get you started. If you’ve got any suggestions, please leave them below and we’ll add to our list!


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About Amanda

Amanda is a former digital communications coordinator and frequent blogger for the TheHealthyTrucker.net, a website focused on truck driver health initiatives. Our mission is to encourage truck drivers to embrace a healthier lifestyle by providing both expert advice and real world experiences. Let us be your co-driver on the road to a healthier, happier life!